Sunday, January 14, 2007

Chicken Chettinad

I've tried a few recipes from Nita Mehta's vegetarian cook-books and have been pretty happy with the results. So on my last trip to India, when I saw one of her cookbooks with chicken recipes, I didn't think twice before picking one up for myself.

Chicken Chettinad was the first recipe I tried. Of course I modified it quite a bit (modified some proportions and reduced the number of red chillies from 6 to 2!)

2 lb chicken
3-4 tbsp oil
2 tomatoes
2 medium/small onions or 1 large one
curry leaves 10-12
2 tsp lemon juice
2-3 " piece ginger (grated or made to paste)
3 tsp minced garlic
turmeric and salt to taste

Chettinad masala:
3/4 cup grated coconut (frozen works just fine)
1.5 tsp saboot dhania (whole coriander seeds)
2-3 red chillies (more of you can take it)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
3-4 green cardamoms
2-3 cloves
1" cinnamon stick

In one teaspoon oil fry the coconut, dhania, cumin, fennel, red chillies, cloves, cinnamon. Stir fry this till the coconut just starts to turn brown and you get a fragrant fried coconut smell. Keep aside till cool and grind to a fine paste.
Heat oil and fry the onions and garlic, till onions turn slightly brown.
Add curry leaves, then tomatoes and ginger and turmeric.
When the masala is well cooked, add the chicken pieces and bhuno for a 5-7 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, ground masala and water (if needed) and cover and cook till chicken is well done. I tend to check a few times in between to stir and adjust the water if needed.
Add coriander before serving if you'd like.

Variation: The original recipe called for 6 red chillies as well as added red chilly powder to taste. My family doesn’t handle a high spice level too well. If you can, do go ahead and add a lot more red chillies than I did. It tastes great either way.



Blogger Sandeepa said...

The chicken looks delicious, shall try soon. I liked the "and bhuno" :)

January 16, 2007 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SJ,
Saw the update to the recepie. How manu onions does this recepie require???


April 13, 2007 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

Hi DB,
I used 1 medium/large onion. The gravy is more from the coconut mixture than onions.

April 13, 2007 at 10:07 PM  

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